After waiting 18 years for this, I’m stoked to be watching the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of the playoffs. Until the schedule was released yesterday, I had been searching “Bucks-Celtics playoff schedule” numerous times a day since I’m not used to watching the Bucks post-first round.
The Game Of Throne fans will be happy to know that game one on Sunday will be at 1:00 pm (ET). The matinee game does seem a bit off-kilter though, perhaps because both teams have had an extended layoff. Unfortunately, the tip times are still to be determined for games 2-7.
This series will be a rematch of the first round series from last season. This time around, the stakes are much higher as the winner will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Both teams also offer decisively different looks this time around.
The addition of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward for the playoffs this season, after both were out for the playoffs a season ago, definitely helps out the Celtics. The Bucks made some key offseason moves and also cleared house on the coaching staff.
Personally, I’m intrigued by how the Celtics plan on matching up with Brook Lopez. Aron Bynes doesn’t have the mobility to chase him around the perimeter and that would pull him away from his comfort area in the paint. You might see the Celtics put Gordon Hayward on him, which frees up Al Horford and Marcus Morris to take turns standing in the way of the freight train that is Giannis Antetokounmpo. On the other end of the floor, if the Celtics go smaller, that could be a matchup concern for Lopez to worry about. I think both coaches will get creative and mix and match lineups to push things their own advantages.
I think the X-factor of the series will be George Hill. He has been a fantastic addition mid-season and will be the backup point guard for Milwaukee. He is a steadying presence for Milwaukee and can give Milwaukee a spark whether it’s a timely three-pointer or a defensive stop.
The Milwaukee Bucks will win the series in 6 games (4-2) and get some payback from last years first round series.